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119

The hemming and hawing should not happen, you're right. The problem here isn't on the player side. The GM is cheating. Accidentally, but still cheating. GM Cheating in Dungeon World The GM cheats in Dungeon World when they speak without following their Agenda, Principles, and Moves. There is no GM move called "make an arbitrary decision." There's also no ...


86

No, there is no equivalent to a "skill check" in Dungeon World. Dungeon World operates on a different set of principles that don't require or really permit task-based resolution rolls. If you're playing DW, you have to give up the idea that everything requires a roll. The most important principle for this question is that dice are only rolled when a move ...


73

When they can't tell me how. Sounds simple, but a wealth of detail is hidden in that simple question. When faced with an implausible action declaration, ask "How?". By asking, you're forcing your players to: Consider whether their action makes sense. Limit themselves to plausibility - if they can't even imagine a way that could work, then they won't be ...


66

In Writing? First, I can assure you that this question gives a thorough and rather objective explanation of the problem. So, if you can communicate this way in writing, perhaps that is best way to deal with your GM? Also, surely as your friend, Bob understands your social struggle and would make some allowances in tone for you? I can also assert that ...


56

There's no conflict. The intelligent tag sets a very low bar — it just means that it's a type of creature that has more than instinct or animal cunning going for it. Its definition is: It’s smart enough that some individuals pick up other skills. The GM can adapt the monster by adding tags to reflect specific training, like a mage or warrior. “Smart ...


56

It's important to remember that Dungeon World is a much more narrativist system than D&D, which is more simulationist in most editions (especially 3.X). In a simulationist system, the primary purpose of the rules is to simulate a world. When the system presents rules for making a wizard character, those rules describe how wizard characters work in the ...


53

Let's have another look at the Know-It-All move (emphasis mine). Know-It-All When another player’s character comes to you for advice and you tell them what you think is best, they get +1 forward when following your advice and you mark experience if they do. Now let's look at your proposed scenario: the Fighter is under attack and you've asked him ...


52

First off, all of edgerunner's answers are great. But I wanted to add some Dungeon World specifics: Check p.19 and you'll see that 6- isn't "failure" - it's "trouble". The GM will say what happens and the player will mark XP. You are attaching non-DW simulationist ideas to DW mechanics by your supposition that 6- means "failure." These principles can apply ...


52

Let's suppose this was an eight-week campaign, and I was planning to devote the whole session to a climactic battle against this guy, and the first thing they did was they used this instakill on him. What do I do next? There's a possible “next” there, but if you've come to this point you've already broken a cardinal rule and are naturally suffering the ...


47

Sigh, I think others are making this more complicated than it is and aren't answering the right question. Perhaps it will make more sense if you restate that brief blurb as: The players determine what their characters say, think, and do. The GM describes everything else in the world. You "say" what your character does, the GM "says" (aka determines) ...


47

You can't optimise in Dungeon World, not like you can in D&D. To do what you want to do, you have to approach it differently. It's a different game, after all. Unlearn what you know about D&D There are a bunch of assumptions in the question that make sense for D&D and make no sense for Dungeon World. Trying to play Dungeon World according to ...


46

It isn't OK. I don't mean in the sense of “oh no everything is broken now!”, but in the sense of “yeah, Dungeon World is way less fun, and it will fail to be awesome in ways you wouldn't even know could have been awesome.” That sense of the game being ‘off’ is what Dungeon World feels like when its heart and guts are missing because some core rules aren't ...


43

The narrative at hand is a perfect reason to make things difficult for the player. You should always ask questions like crazy, ie. ask for justification from the player about how he does what he does. He may want to hack and slash at the troll but he doesn't decide on what move his intended action corresponds to. Feel free to challenge his intent by ...


41

Dungeon World is an odd beast. If looked at through the lens of existing D&D experience, it doesn't look like anything different, and lots of its differences seem stupid. To really appreciate what it does differently you have to spend some time immersing your brain in it. I'm a veteran, but I still keep learning new things about the game—it's like ...


40

It's impossible by the method given, so it doesn't happen (…yet). Dungeon World's rules allow any action to be attempted — not any goal. If a goal is declared without describing how it's accomplished, the group is not ready to pull out the dice to see what happens next and if the action achieves the goal, because what's happening now (the action or actions) ...


40

It's all about immersion This part of your question jumped out at me: I can see two ways of expressing the relationship between players and their PCs: either they act in place of the characters (“I'm Dunwick, I do this…”), or they control them like puppets (“Dunwick does this…”). I've never intended to impose a point of view or another on the players, ...


38

First, stop railroading them when they don't do anything. You're here to make the world do stuff, not make the players or the PCs do stuff. Making their decisions for them just teaches them that it's not really important to make those decisions themselves, and that's the last lesson you want people new to roleplaying to take away from the experience. Second,...


38

Yes, but it's more work than you'd think You could keep levelling, but the game starts breaking down. You start running out of moves that you can take and you rarely ever fail rolls because your stats are all in the positive. The engine runs out of steam and the game starts to be boring. So you can, but you would have to start houseruling lots of bits of ...


38

Do not plan adventures! Dungeon World does not lend itself to preplanned adventures. Any plans you make are bound to be thwarted, ignored or decimated by the players. If you have a climactic battle with a big boss in mind, forget it. Instead, prepare your fronts and react to what the players do. Remember your agenda: Play to find out what happens. ...


38

You seem to have misunderstood one of the most fundamental rules of Dungeon World: You don't make the moves Moves just happen when their trigger is met. That means you cannot tell your GM that you wish to, for example, take the "Defend" move. You have to narrate what your character does. If that triggers a move, then the move happens. For example, if you ...


37

The way you handled it does technically fulfill the "worse outcome" choice for the GM. However, you ended up in the same situation you were in before. Nothing changed. The PC is still on the wrong side of the Troll they wanted to get past, and neither the PC's nor the Troll's state has changed for the better or worse (from what you describe, at least). Not ...


35

Short Answer The characters don't know, so there's no need to tell their players. But why's that? Your GM principles should give you your answer here: Address the characters, not the players. Begin and end with the fiction Give every monster life Remember, your principles and agendas are rules just like HP and armor. If you're telling the players the ...


35

You're right, how a Dungeon World GM figures out what dangers (if any) threaten the PCs while they're sleeping doesn't work like in other games. How the GM handles Take Watch is somewhat complex. Let's break it down. Like every player move in Dungeon World, the Take Watch move is only triggered when its trigger is matched. The trigger is: you’re on ...


34

One thing you can do to make a big boss dangerous is just make normal Hack & Slash useless. Imagine they are fighting a storm giant or something the like, and they normal Hack & Slash, you can just say "ok, you are just chipping his toenails, that is not going to work." Force them to be creative: climb the giant (defy danger), try to out maneuver it,...


34

Don't forget that by drawing unwanted attention, it doesn't have to be attention from the monster they think they're fighting! He's invisible, right? Well, How about he draws unwanted attention in the form of ghosts or spirits? Or monsters that exist in the narrow space between planes where things that are invisible go? Your player chose to attract unwanted ...


34

It seems to me that the Unicorn has exactly the same status as a Ranger's animal companion. There are modifiers to the Princesses moves - a Pastel Unicorn adds +1d4 damage to the Princess, for example, in the same way a companion would add its ferocity. It's present fictionally; a Unicorn follows the Princess around for all to see, and the the rest of the ...


34

No When a player character makes an action that fulfills the conditions for triggering a move, the move is triggered. This is explicitly stated in Dungeon World rules, under Making moves: A character can't take a fictional action that triggers a move without that move occurring. This is an extension from the principles of Apocalypse World: "to do it, do ...


33

Dungeon World is a narrative game, at it's core, that distinguishes itself from D&D in the way it tells stories. The innovations are in the core philosophies and mechanics. Let me address each of your points in turn: Moves as Powers Moves are NOT just powers. Many are closer to D&D's feats. Others have no mechanical effect at all. Some simply tell ...


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